Great Design Comes in Twos, Threes, or Fours — Mixing and Matching Patterns and Textures


When it comes to mixing patterns and textures, it is important to keep several things in mind. First, find your inspiration! This could be many things: a favorite color, a piece of furniture, a fabric swatch, maybe an accessory, or art.  Several color palettes and individual colors, like rich pastels, are making their comeback in the upcoming year… but trends aside, you can design based on what moves you.

Once you have found your inspiration, it is time to edit your colors.  When layering patterns and textures, there are four main elements: color, shape, scale, and texture. Color is first and the most important. You want to work with the same color intensity. Focus on the same set of tones and dyes, and don’t mix bold with soft colors.

The next elements are shape and scale – add contrast!  Mix shapes and patterns that follow the same color scheme, but vary the scale. You don’t want your patterns to fight, so try to focus on one large-scale fabric, and then work around it. Once you have pulled your favorite fabrics, lay them all out on the floor to get a better look. Take a step back, let your eyes do the work, and see what is the most appealing.

Last but not least is texture. Consider the fabrics feel – not just its textile consistency, but its design presence. Each fabric has a personality, and it is important to honor this. Some fabrics are more formal and some are more casual; keep this in mind throughout your process. Let the patterns work together to form harmony with the other eclectic elements in your setting.

When you mix fabrics and textures, you are often creating an eclectic design. What exactly is eclectic design? It is not as complicated as it sounds; it is simply the combination of colors, furniture, fabrics, and finishes to create a unique style. It is partly defined by the multitude of fabrics and textures used in a given space; these two essentials help tie together the unique furniture and finishes that would usually jar together by offering a common theme as backdrop.

 Tip from “Cool Colors” Article, “Mixing and matching multiple fabrics in the same vignette gives you the chance to use different fabrics in the newest color palettes, but by adding neutrals you ensure the look will be timeless and something you will love for a long time.”

So don’t be afraid to select interesting elements that work together to achieve your perfect environment. Practice balance, and don’t forget a focal point. Lastly, remember what we first talked about: follow your creativity, and design with what engages and inspires.


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